Milton Keynes 0-19 Service

Head Lice

What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny insects that live in hair.

They are white or grey-brown and can be as small a sesame seed.

Head lice live on people’s heads and hatch from eggs. The eggs are very hard to see because they are so small. Head lice lay their eggs where the hair meets the skin on a person’s head because it is nice and warm there.

Head lice love hair. They’re not fussy about it. They like long, short, curly, straight, dirty or clean hair.

You can catch head lice from someone else if they have head lice and your hair touches theirs.

Head lice can’t fly, jump or swim. They don’t live for long if they are removed from a human head so you can’t catch head lice from hats, pillows or towels.

How do I get rid of head lice?

It’s really difficult to spot head lice because they are so small.

You should check your hair regularly by using a special comb. It’s best if someone else checks for you.

If you have head lice, you might need to use a special spray or lotion to get rid of them.

Don’t worry, head lice can’t hurt you but they can be really annoying so it’s best to try and get rid of them as soon as you can if you find one in your hair.

This information has been provided by our school nurses and NHS Choices.